TIMES LEDGER: “Visuality gives music a brand new look”

TIMES LEDGER Dec 2, 2016

Multidisciplinary music ensemble CreArtBox, which is based in Sunnyside, will bring a powerful combination of various art forms to the Queens Theatre Saturday night.

“Visuality,” directed by CreArtBox’s Guillermo Laporta and Josefina Urraca, employs cutting-edge technology to enhance a repertoire that includes works by such classical composers as Beethoven and Claude Debussy, as well as new compositions. The audience can expect experiments with light and sound from painters, sculptors, choreographers, dancers, writers and more.

“Queens Theatre is perfect for our production,” said Laporta. “The core of the show is classical music that we will combine with contemporary music and visual art. For instance, as our closing piece. ‘Eclipse,’ we have Spanish composer Marcos Fernandez, who was inspired by the music of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells combined with video inspired by DJ Amon Tobin’s visual projections. There will be 100 cubes each with a video-mapping projection.”

That kind of 3D video mapping lets Visuality create a kind of intensified reality, enhancing the space in which the show is presented. CreArtBox has long been known for merging classical music with groundbreaking technology, transforming the traditional concert stage into a multimedia canvas. Since the ensemble’s beginnings in Spain, they have performed at an array of notable venues and festivals in both their home country and the United States.

The pieces being performed this weekend bring CreArtBox’s innovative approach into clear focus. “Sleepers Awake” combines original choreography and Joshua Penman’s music in a work inspired by the human figures in a painting by Toby Heifetz, also entitled “Sleepers Awake.” Its fusion of dance, music and painting conveys a sense of levitation, playing subtle games with the viewer’s perceptions.

“Excess,” with original music by Sebastian Currier, brings together music, theater, dance, acrobatics and video mapping to explore the culture of “too much” in today’s world, and how people react to this constant sensory overload.

“Coming Together” brings a somber event from America’s past into view. Written by American composer Frederic Rzewski, it is based on a letter Samuel Joseph Melville wrote from prison in Attica in New York a few months before he was executed in 1971 during the riots in which 1,000 prisoners rebelled and took control of the prison to demand better living conditions.

Other pieces to be performed in Saturday’s program include “Northumbri­an,” a piece by Paul Moravec that addresses Celtic culture and makes use of the bagpipes known as Northumbrian pipes. There’s also “Piano Trio,” in which Marissa Maislen’s choreography joins forces with Claude Debussy’s, Piano Trio in G Major to transport the viewer into a world of dreams.

And in what is described as “a round trip journey from visual art to music,” the ensemble’s “Percussion Interlude” takes the music of Jacob Ter Veldhuis, inspired by the mobile sculptures of Naom Ben-Jakov, and gives it a high-tech visual interpetation through the video creations of Guillermo Laporta.

Each of these works is meant to be an example of CreArtBox’s unique artistic goal of letting each element of a work develop its own independent aesthetic while also creating a unified and challenging environment for the spectator.

More information about Visuality can be found on www.visuality.nyc.

Updated 10:40 am, December 2, 2016